The Martingale (Double-up Strategy)

You’ve probably heard about this. If so, you have seen graphs about it describing as a bulletproof system. You’ve been thinking about using it, or have already used in a casino game. But have you ever considered why everybody doesn't play like this?

The Martingale, or by its more familiar name, the Double-Up strategy is quite simple. You put your defined 1 Unit on an even bet. If you win you bank that money. If you lose, you double you betting amount. It’s a very easy progression which can be used by basically everyone who can multiply by two, and the result of the progression is always +1 Unit as shown below. Let’s say you always put on red and use the Martingale progression. Your play can be simulated like this:

Double up - Martingale roulette strategy table

As you can see, you’re always betting for a 1 Unit profit, but even in a case of 6 Blacks in a row, we would risk 64 Unit (or 127 Unit total) for a 1 Unit profit. You think 6 in a row is extreme? Read our article about variance first! We always emphasize the importance of bankroll management, but you can easily se, that Martingale is a high risk low reward strategy.

Here’s a short calculator which shows you the elasticity of your bankroll for the Martingale:

As you can see, Martingale only works in theory. If you had infinite money, it would work out just fine and you would realize the small profit. But in practice, our bankroll has its limits. And if we’re about to lose our money anyway, why bother with a boring strategy? Just head to a funny Slot Machine and play!

Woman plays roulette

Some sites will tell you this is the Holy Grail of Roulette and casinos ban it. This is ridiculous and now you can laugh at them. Roulette tables have betting limits, your bankroll has another limit, and that’s enough for them. None of the biggest online casinos will ban you for Doubling-up!

If you really want to stick to Martingale and always double-up please set up a stop loss. Let’s say that if you’ll get 5 Black spins and you put your money on Red you will re-start your progression from 1 Unit.

But would you be interested in strategy, which is based on this idea, but can minimalize your risk for your bankroll and aim for more than 1 Unit profit in a given progression at the same time? Then you should check out our next article, where we talk about the real thing!

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